The financial and legal consequences that a DUI will cause can be astronomical. In fact, many experts estimate that the true cost of a first-time DUI ranges from $5,000 to $15,000. When you consider how much of a negative impact this will have on your life, it is easy to understand why you should never put yourself in a position where you could become convicted of a DUI. However, if you do end up with a DUI arrest, you will need to contact a skilled attorney right away to help protect your legal rights.
Why do DUIs Cost so Much?
When most people think about the cost of a DUI, they forget to factor in several relevant expenses. For example, according to the DeVore Law Office, a first time offender in Minnesota is likely to be given a $1,000 fine, and they will also have to pay more than $700 to reinstate their license if it is suspended. Additionally, the judge could decide to make the driver use an interlock ignition device after their license is reinstated. If this happens, the driver will have to pay for installation, and they will also be required to pay for monthly readings.
Other DUI-Related Expenses
On the surface, a DUI might look like it could cost less than $2,000 in Minnesota. However, this figure does not factor in the cost of paying for a lawyer. In most cases, you are going to spend at least $5,000 to receive experienced legal representation. In other words, the cost of a DUI just skyrocketed to at least $7,000, and there are still several other expenses that you need to consider:
1. Increased Insurance Premium – If your current insurance provider does not decide to drop your policy, they are most likely going to enact the clause that enables them to increase your rates. In some cases, your new premium could be more than double what you were paying the month before.
2. Impound Fees – Many states allow police officers to impound a vehicle if the driver is arrested for a DUI. You will need to pay the impound fee to get your car back, and new fees will be tacked on every day until you pick it up.
3. Job Loss – Unfortunately, the biggest financial impact of a DUI can be caused by the loss of your job. Many employers have a clause in their employee handbook that allows them to terminate anyone who is convicted of a DUI. Even if you are able to keep your job, you will run the risk of being demoted, especially if your current position requires you to have a valid driver’s license. It is also important to note that having a DUI on your record can prevent you from getting many desirable jobs in the future.
Once you add up all of the additional expenses that are associated with a DUI, it is easy to see how one bad judgment call could lead to complete financial ruin. Therefore, you should always avoid the temptation to drink and drive. Even if you are short on cash, it is better to temporarily go into debt to take a cab home than to end up paying for a DUI for the rest of your life.
Author Anthony Joseph is a blogger who shares this research about DUI and auto laws. Kevin DeVore, of the DeVore Law Office, is a Minnesota based attorney who is very experienced in fighting DUI charges, and has been mentioned in numerous newspaper and magazine articles for his acclaimed criminal defense victories.